TCS Daily


Forget Iran

By Gregory Scoblete - June 11, 2007 12:00 AM

While the 2008 presidential candidates are busy fielding questions about how they would confront Iran's nuclear ambitions, few seem interested in addressing a much more pressing issue: Pakistan.

It's understandable, of course. Pakistan is an infinitely more difficult challenge for a would-be president to tackle. Unlike Iran - which can be "bombed," "contained," "deterred," or "ignored" - Pakistan does not lend itself to sound bite solutions. It's much easier for candidates to simply ignore our ostensible ally and hope to pass through the campaign without being called on it. But events will almost certainly conspire to deny us the luxury of living in denial for very long.

The truth is Pakistan represents a far greater danger to the U.S. than Iran, at least for the foreseeable future. Let us count the ways. Pakistan is a nuclear power. Iran is not. Pakistan has a proven track record of proliferation, including a dalliance with al Qaeda. It was Pakistani nuclear scientists, after all, who met with bin Laden. Indeed, it was a Pakistani scientist, A. Q. Khan, whose black-market network significantly expanded the reach of nuclear equipment and know-how. Meanwhile, Iranian scientists are still laboring to master the basic elements of the nuclear fuel cycle (though progress continues).

Pakistan was one of three countries prior to 9/11 to recognize and provide significant material support to the Taliban - the one regime whose accommodation made 9/11 possible. Iran opposed the Taliban. Elements within the Pakistani military continue to support rump Taliban elements as they battle NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The New York Times reported that Pakistani army elements have gone so far as to directly fire on Afghan forces (though Pakistan denies it).

Ideologically, Pakistan is vastly more sympathetic to al Qaeda than Iran. Its religious schools preach the extremist variety of Sunni Islam that animates bin Laden's jihad. While Iran's Shiite theocrats preach "death to America," few Iranians have actually embraced the mantra. There are, for instance, 65 Pakistanis in Guantanamo Bay; there are zero Iranians. Unlike al Qaeda, Iran's Shiite proxy Hezbollah has not embraced mass-causality suicide terrorism against American civilian targets. Indeed, Hezbollah's most significant anti-American strike was against a military target 24 years ago: a Marine barracks in Lebanon.

The single most important element, however, is the presence of a reconstituted al Qaeda leadership network in Pakistan. The country plays host (whether willingly or not) to the architects of the largest massacre on U.S. soil in history: Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. In contrast, Iran reportedly harbors a small number of lesser al Qaeda figures.

In Senate testimony earlier this year, intelligence chief John Negroponte described Pakistan as a "secure hide-out" within which al Qaeda plots further carnage. In February, the New York Times reported that al Qaeda "had been steadily building an operations hub in the mountainous Pakistani tribal area of North Waziristan" including full-fledged terror training camps. In Waziristan, al Qaeda inhabits a failed state within a functioning, nuclear-armed one.

In sum, the danger to Americans in America is emanating principally from Pakistan, not Iran. What's more, the contours of the Iranian challenge are recognizable. Much like the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Iran's government works against U.S. interests. It is equipping anti-American forces in Iraq and challenging our influence in the Middle East. As damaging as these actions are, they are familiar - we know how to counter and defeat hostile nation states. Moreover, Iran's nuclear program is a challenge unfolding slowly and in plain site.

The Pakistan problem, however, is more complex - a 21st century dilemma combining transnational terror groups, "ungovernable" territory, and a government of uncertain allegiance.

The Nightmare

What if the United States suffers another 9/11-scale atrocity that traces its roots to al Qaeda in Pakistan? (If the British had not successfully thwarted the plot to blow up ten airliners over the Atlantic, this would not be a hypothetical.) What, exactly, will the next president do? Do we hold the government of Pervez Musharraf responsible? After all, his "Waziristan Accord" with militant tribes in the Northwest Frontier, which saw Pakistani forces withdraw to barracks, ceded vital territory to al Qaeda. At least some elements in the Pakistani government have trained, and are reportedly still facilitating al Qaeda's presence in the region.

If President Musharraf refuses to seriously confront al Qaeda on his territory after an attack on America, would he let U.S. forces do so? If he does not, should the U.S. invade, or launch large scale military strikes, over his objections? While justified, the risks of such action are severe. It could spark a broader war with the nuclear-armed state. If Musharraf relents or does not intervene forcefully to counter an American action, public outrage would almost certainly boil over. Musharraf has already survived two assassination attempts. For his Islamist enemies, the third time might be the charm. A murdered Musharraf would throw the country and its nuclear weapons into tumult at a moment of maximum anti-Americanism.

Or do we give Pakistan a pass, hoping, as we have with Saudi Arabia, that maintaining close government-to-government ties will ultimately allow us to make the most headway against the jihadist threat? After all, without Pakistan's help the most senior al Qaeda leaders captured to date would still be at large.

It's useful, in this light, to consider the events of September 12, 2001.

On that day, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage placed a call to Pakistan's intelligence minister and Taliban supporter, General Mahmood who happened to be in Washington D.C. Armitage's mission was as consequential as it was brief. According to the 9/11 Commission, Armitage served notice to the government of Pakistan that its policies had to change. Fast:

Armitage gave Mahmood a list of seven "non-negotiable" demands, among them a requirement that Pakistan end its relationship with the Taliban and grant the U.S. territorial access to conduct operations against al Qaeda. According to the Commission's final report, "Pakistan made its decision swiftly. That afternoon, Secretary of State Powell announced at the beginning of an NSC meeting that Pakistani President Musharraf had agreed to every U.S. request for support in the war on terrorism.

It's interesting to note the tone of the exchange between the two nations suddenly thrust into cooperation. Armitage, in a Frontline interview, gives us a hint:

It was a very brief 15- or 20-minute meeting, where I presented [Mahmood] with the list, read it to him, and told him that this was not a negotiable list; it was all or nothing. He said that he knew how the president thought, and the president would accept these points and was with us. I said, "With all respect, that's not good enough. The president of Pakistan, President Musharraf, must agree to these, and my secretary will be calling in a couple of hours." The secretary called 1:30 or so Eastern time that day, about an hour and 15 or 20 minutes after we'd finished the meeting. President Musharraf agreed to all the conditions, without exception.

President Musharraf claimed that Armitage threatened to "bomb Pakistan back to the stone age" if help was not forthcoming. Armitage disputes that characterization. What is not in dispute is that, after the carnage of 9/11, America served notice to Pakistan.

Could the next president deliver such an ultimatum? Would it be wise to do so?

Before the staggering loss of life on 9/11, attacking al Qaeda in Afghanistan was seen as either too harsh or too daunting a prospect based on the carnage al Qaeda had inflicted to date. It was only when viewed in the light of nearly 3,000 dead that our passivity looked irresponsible. Today, we don't need hindsight to understand that, barring forceful action from Musharraf now, al Qaeda will eventually strike the U.S. again (although a strike is altogether possible even with strong action). At that point, will our Pakistan policy look similarly irresponsible?

Today, the downside costs of strongly pressing Musharraf or attacking al Qaeda in Northwest Pakistan are steep, while the price of our relative inaction has been modest. While several attacks - notably the July 7 London tube bombings - have been traced back to the country, the U.S. and Western allies have preferred to tread lightly with Musharraf, viewing him as the best of a set of bad options. At what point is Musharraf's desultory attitude toward bin Laden no longer acceptable? What can we realistically hope to accomplish if we turn on him?

Priorities

Iran and Pakistan represent two distinct threats. While we persist in Iraq, Iran will be a direct threat to our troops. Its nuclear program and terrorist network, however, represents less a threat to American lives than to America's influence in the Middle East. For those who wish to maintain that influence at any cost, beating back Iran is a top priority. But for those concerned with securing American lives, Iran is a serious but lesser-order concern.

Pakistan is quite the opposite. The terrorist network on its soil, the uncertain allegiance of its military and intelligence forces, its evident willingness to proliferate, and the precariousness of Musharraf's regime most directly threaten the lives of Americans. The tough questions that surround our Pakistan policy don't get any easier if we ignore them. The people who are vying to lead our country owe us their answers.

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77 Comments

Islam is the enemy
It’s only a question when each country will erupt in a jihadist frenzy. Pakistan was and will be a problem again. Iran is a problem that’s getting worse. Saudi Arabia is our enemy and funds the world wide Islamic hate movement. The revival of Salafist Islam started in Egypt and it can fall to the Muslim Brotherhood in the future. Gaza voted for an Islamist regime; and Syria, controlled by a tiny minority heretical sect, can easily be toppled once the jihadists turn on their sponsor. Algeria would have voted for a fundamentalist regime if it weren’t for the military.

Let’s face it; the Islamic revival is bringing Muslims back to the original version of Islam and it is an ugly imperialist warrior ideology that conquered most of the known world in its first 100 years. Jihadist want to bring that glory back to Islam. They won’t succeed but expect a massive slaughter as they try.

Fundamentalists are the enemy
there's a big difference. Fundementalism, whether here in the states, or in some Middle-Eastern country, is the problem. Islam is as evil as Christianity, as good as Hinduism - its not the religon on its own, its the crazies that every religon has. Evangelicals in this country that kill doctors, tell me that's not terrorism...

The fundamentals of Islam are a problem.
The fundamental principles of Islam are a problem. Islam is a supremacist warrior ideology. Yes, of course, it’s only a problem if you intend to follow the religion – which is what devout a fundamentalists does. But that’s what it means to say Islam is a problem; it’s a problem if you fully practice the religion. Slackers aren't a problem.

The example of Jesus is very different from that of Mohammad. Mohammad plundered, slaughtered, conquered, and oppressed. He ethically-cleansed Medina of Jews. [1] Islam readily underwrites a vicious ideology of conquest.

Jesus avoided violent conflict and had an obsession of turning the other cheek. His example readily underwrites pacifism and surrender. These are two very different problems. Today we in the West are too influenced by the teachings of Jesus. We need to return to our Roman heritage. [2]

1 http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/2005/08/mohammeds-ethnic-cleansing.html
2 http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/2006_12_01_archive.html

Spot on Jason
The west needs to wake up to the truth.

Islam is an evil ideology just as communism is an evil ideology. (Yes Virgina there are peaceful practitioners of communism but the ideology is responsible for the deaths of millions, so goes Islam)
Muslims are incapable of self government!
Just like communism an Islamic belief system results in a dictatorial government/strong man at the top.

Muslims are incapable of peaceful coexistence with their neighbors even other Muslim sects are not immune.
As soon as the the US leaves Iraq or Afghanistan the factions will turn on each other as Muslim factions in Lebanon are currently at each others throats.
The Sunnis consider Shites apostates deserving death and vise versa. (Insert any Muslim factions in the above sentence and it will still remain true)

Muslims are fomenting/planning a hundred years war. Americans are idiots to expect to be "out" of Iraq or Afghanistan or hundred other Muslim sh*t holes in only a few months.

The supporters of the war in Iraq need to wake up and realize that just as we still have forces in Japan and Germany two generations after WWII we will also have them in Iraq in Afghanistan and else where.

I support the war in Iraq because what we will leave will fester into a boil that will have to be lanced again if we do leave. But i realize that it does not matter if we stay or go if we leave the casualties and collateral damage on our own soil will equal the war casualties and expense if we stay. I prefer to fight them there and try to restrict the collateral damage off shore and have only military casualties instead of civilian but the holy war against infidels will continue until the west is willing to do what it takes to defeat Islam.

America and the west in its current state of mind is not ruthless enough to prevail against Islam.
Only after we sustain sufficient casualties will western politicians be given the authority to inflict enough casualties on Muslims to make a difference in outcomes.
This is no different than defeating the Japanese mind set in WWII.







About the tag line - It would not take much bombing eom
eom

People who draw moral equivalence..
..between islam and Christianity display only the fact that they know nothing of either islam or Christianity.

" its not the religon on its own, its the crazies that every religon has."

False. Or only half-true, take your pick. In any case, the fact that people who talk like you do always conveniently ignore is that there is absolutely NOTHING within Christianity itself which instructs its followers to commit such acts, while in islam, these things are very clearly demanded of its followers.

This is not meant as an excuse to downplay the terrible things done by evil people in any religion's name. The difference is, of course, that in Christianity, the 'crazies' do what they do because they are crazy, not because the religion guides them to it. In islam, there may still be crazies, but the religion itself demands that war be made by any possible means against non-muslims, which lowers the threshold of craziness necessary by orders of magnitude when it comes to things like suicide-powered mass murder.

"Islam is as evil as Christianity.."

By the way, just curious as to what exactly in Christianity you find fits the qualification of 'evil'? Is it the 'love they neighbor' part? Is it the 'let those without sin cast the first stone' bit? Perhaps it's the 'God loving the whole world so much he gave his Son as a sacrifice for the good of every person, ever' thing? Or maybe the 'Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do' bit, even in the face of his torturers and killers?

Yeah, all that evil Christian stuff.

How about the old testament?
The Jews, according to the old testament, drove the Palestenians off their land for they were the chosen people. How many situation can we site in the Hebrew Bible like this - its not just Islam that can be interpretted as some blood thirsty religon, they all can.
Get back to our Roman heritage? kill Jesus. slaughter anyone in our way. sounds real libertarian to me (live and let, nah, lets kill em all)

ok buddy
again, where do you want to go with this eh? zealots killing abortion docs? Islam does not preach violence, that can be said in the same way you want to say Christianity is so pure and helpful - BS and you know it. People kill in the name of God, always have, always will, its not that Allah is some great exception to this - neither is Jehovah, get over it.

Religon insites violence. Period.
do you really want me to dig through your holy books and pick out the nasties for you? you know its there you just choose to ignroe it for the sake of debate, and thats intellectually dishonest. you and i both know it.

thanks for making my point...
"(Yes Virgina there are peaceful practitioners of communism but the ideology is responsible for the deaths of millions, so goes Islam)"

so goes christianity, but dont let the inquisition fool you

Yes, that's right
The Old Testament is full of bloody atrocities. Islam is very much like that. The Jews, however, have been out of power for 2000 years and they have evolved (as have Christians). Many Muslims embrace the original vision of their Prophet.

Of course, we have to be selective with our Roman heritage since we’ve advanced it further. I selectively chose Cicero because of his writings on natural rights. He was treasured by our founding fathers. He also formulated a reasonable theory of just war that isn’t “turning the other cheek and appeasing the enemy.” Check out the links in my previous post.

As for blaming the Romans for the death of Jesus … Paul doesn’t do that does he? He is a proud Roman citizen and asks for his trial to be moved from Hebrew jurisdiction to Roman jurisdiction.

Sorry, you just prove the point
You aren't doing yourself any favors.

First of all, the Old Testament is a HISTORY BOOK, Christianity is based on the NEW TESTAMENT. Just because something is reported in the Old Testament Histories does not make it 'Christianity'. (Oh and you'll have to show me where it says in the Bible that nuts are supposed to bomb abortion clinics.)

Second, Islam does very much in fact demand that the entire world be brought under Islamic control - either by the sword, or by aggressive birthrates from within, by lying, stealing, cheating - any means necessary and available is fine - all because anyone who is not 'under islam' is not even considered to be a human being anyway, and therefore not entitled to any rights or honorable treatment. These are not secrets, you know.

Like so many people who have a naive misunderstanding of religions, coupled with some kind of knee-jerk antipathy towards them (most likely from being forced to go to Sunday School as a child or something equally 'evil'), you are incapable of separating the actions of people in a religions' NAME, and the religion itself.

Yes, the Inquisition was nasty. Yes, the Crusades were a violent dirty business. And sure there are lots of other examples. But those things did not emanate from the religion, but rather from men who simply used religion as a cover for their own goals.

Islam, on the other hand, was founded by a warlord who saw that the various tribes in the region were splintered and weakened by polytheism, and saw an opportunity to consolidate power by going on his own crusade to wipe out that polytheism in favor of his own invented brand of monotheism. But make no mistake about it, every action he took was solely to generate, consolidate, and expand earthly power and control. Oppression, murder, and genocide are standard fare in the teachings of islam.

Interestingly, islam and Christianity are near polar opposites in this regard. In Christianity's history, those periods of appalling violence and execrable behavior occurred during times when the so-called 'leaders' of the religion were straying far afield from the actual teachings of the religion itself. Islam is the exact opposite of this. The few periods in islam's history when it experienced an 'enlightenment' of sorts, such as the great periods of advancements in mathematics, science, and medicine, all occurred when the leaders of the time and places experiencing such wondrous advances were in fact straying far from the dictates of the religion itself.

Of course this is an over-broad generalization, but the overall impression still stands: in Christianity's history, the bad episodes are the exceptions, in islam, it's the good periods which are the exceptions.

In any case, you'll believe whatever you want to believe, but if there is some part of you that actually wants to believe reality, the truth, rather than the version of the universe you apparently learned from the back of a box of cereal, then you have a whole lot of reading to do, and a whole lot of soul-searching ahead.

It's a small minority of jihadists who threaten the mainstream.
Most Muslims are non-violent, and they sincerely want peace with the rest of the world. It is a small minority of radical jihadists who threaten civilization. Al Qaeda has Suni roots. Hezbollah has Shiite roots in Iran.

you're crazy
"Yes, the Inquisition was nasty. Yes, the Crusades were a violent dirty business. And sure there are lots of other examples. But those things did not emanate from the religion, but rather from men who simply used religion as a cover for their own goals."

Umm, exactly my point, you just want to use selective logic so that this applies to your case and not mine. Islam teaches muslims to respect all men of the book, be it Jew, Chrisitian or Muslim - its not the religion thats evil, its the men that pervert it to suite their own goals

No Subject
glad someone out there doesn't have the wool pulled over their eyes to the point of blindness!

Amazing
Have you ever actually tried to learn any genuine thing about islam, or is this all just coming to you through some sort of cosmic osmosis?

"Umm, exactly my point, you just want to use selective logic so that this applies to your case and not mine. "

Um, no. You apparently do not even understand your own 'point'. You draw moral equivalence, as though Christianity and islam are similar. They are not - they are polar opposites in fact. Christianity places paramount value on the eternal souls of every human being, islam does not. Christianity's ultimate goal for the soul is to commune for eternity in the presence of God. Islam's only goal is to serve islam and further its dominion. Oh, and if you are lucky enough to die while killing infidels, you also get a bevy of virgins to have sex with for all eternity.

"Islam teaches muslims to respect all men of the book, be it Jew, Chrisitian [sic]or Muslim "

Again, you don't understand the snippets you have read. Yes, it's true that mohamed held a personal affection for 'the people of the book', but you are confused about some things. First, the 'People of the Book' does not refer to 'Jew, Christian, or Muslim', as you imply. The reference is strictly to Christians. Mohamed also held the Hebrews in high regard - he specifically modeled his monotheism after the monotheism of the Hebrews. He even claimed the the Hebrew God Yahweh and Allah are the same God. The 'People of the Book', the Christians, he liked because he was impressed at how widespread and powerful they had become based simply on, in his estimation, words written in a book. This model he also borrowed, writing down his 'visions' to be spread via the written word. And of course there no 'muslims' as such at the time for it to refer in any way to muslims.

However, I suspect that your definition of 'respect' and his (and therefore islam's) would be very different now if put to the test. Mohammed's 'respect' amounted to allowing them to keep their religion, as long as they submitted to islamic rule and to be treated as second-class citizens, with diminished rights, or none at all. I suppose that could be called at least a small measure of respect, as the alternative was to submit, AND convert, or die. Usually die anyway though. Pillaging and plundering is a lot easier, after all, if you don't leave many of the plundered and pillaged alive after the fact to seek revenge. And remember, arabs are mighty big on revenge, and millenia-long grudges.

"its not the religion thats evil, its the men that pervert it to suite their own goals"

Maybe your definition of 'evil' is different from most peoples'. Tell me - how many religions OTHER than islam guarantee a follower 72 virgins forever in juvenile sex-fantasy paradise, all for the mere price of killing as many other people as possible while taking your own life?

Tell me - how many religions OTHER than islam are there in which the founder stated, following his visit to 'hell', that women were entering hell at a rate ten times higher than men (thus setting the foundation for the eternal subjugation of women as mere property)? Do you even have any IDEA what kind of horrible abuses of women there are, even today, fully sanctioned by current modern islamic teaching?

Tell me - how many religions OTHER than islam has a holy city in which anyone other than followers of that religion are considered to be criminals, and arrested?

True, islam does teach 'First, do no harm'. It would be nice if the followers took that to heart to include everyone, even non-muslims. But alas, they don't, because that's not how it was intended. Islam SPECIFICALLY instructs that the entire world MUST be brought under islamic domination, by any means possible, and prescribes a huge plethora of torments and violence to be done unto those who do not either submit to islamic rule or convert, or both.

Evil indeed. Or maybe you think that's all just hunky-dory.

And these things are not 'men perverting it to suite [sic] their own goals', this is the actual religion itself.

Tell me in what way Christianity (not sophomoric arguments like nuts blowing up abortion clinics) equals this? Where in the Bible does it teach anyone to do anything like any of that?

It doesn't.

Therefore, they are not equal, and for you to continue to insist that they are is to merely further highlight your own lack of understanding of what you are trying to talk about. This is not 'selective logic', it's just the facts.

Seriously, if you really do care about this stuff, and actually want to learn something, this is not the place. You need to go to a library, instead of placing so much faith in these little snippets you have picked up from who knows where.

The whole world is really a "threat"....
As long as the US Government continues its decades-long foreign policy of aggression, force and intervention, we will continue to see large numbers of people who will try to do this country harm. It's a pretty simple equation.

We need a new path to deal with terrorists - and that means and end to the kind of policies that incite and encourage attacks on this country. We base our military in 120+ nations, back coups and assassinations, prop up dictators with billions and billions in foreign aid, invade sovereign nations and on and on and on.

Does anyone really think that this promotes American security?

Some follow up reading:

"What Can we do about Terrorism?" - click here

Uh huh
The appropriate response to your dreck is:

The thunderous roar of a single cricket chirping in the silence. And a yawn.

US Military in 120 + countries?
Which ones?

You might want...
to try reading a Military Base Structure Report.

You made the claim
The US has bases in 120 countries.

Which ones?

I told you where to find the information...
If you're too lazy to look it up, maybe you don't care.

The Nuclear Issues and The Weak Get Beaten
After the Beslan Massacre, Putin addressed the nation. He said Russia had been weak and the weak get beaten.

This is absolutely true.

What the article dances around is the ability of AQ with Pakistani help, either officially or unofficially, to use nuclear weapons to attack the US. To destroy one or more US cities. To kill 1-10 million people (depending on how many warheads are used against how many cities).

What then? Do we wait for "proof" which of course will never come? Quail before the costs of responding? Decide to fire off a few impotent missiles?

The problem is that if we are attacked successfully, and we don't make that attack demonstrably suicidal (i.e. the people who launched as a people simply don't exist anymore because we killed them all in response), then the US will be attacked again.

We have a massive failure in the elites in Media, Politics, and Academic. Weakness, passivity, and surrender characterize their values.

If we are attacked by nuclear weapons, unless we wipe out the nation seen to have had a hand in it, either passively or actively, we will get hit again. By that nation or others. Putin was right, the weak get beaten.

And that of course does not even address the issue of how to avoid that state? Do we have the political will not to threaten (since no one will believe our threat after the appalling display of weakness by Dems and Reps), but to act, and act decisively if the danger approaches? I.E. a pre-emptive attack on all of Pakistan's nuclear facilities and weapons to destroy them before they can be used against us?

To display strength to deter attack.

Well no of course not. Our elites fetishize weakness and victimhood (as marks of status). They wish for America to become a Lifetime Movie (more evidence if any was needed of the feminizing of America). 9/11 Victimhood was seen as a positive thing (because it gave status). I'm sure most of the elites would actively WELCOME America getting nuked because it would give them status at dinner parties at Davos.

So we will blunder along, satisfying our elites desire for victimhood and passivity, as America is the new Eunuch. Until we are hit with a nuke as we will inevitably will be from Pakistan (spot on as the immediate danger).

Then I predict a fury and Jacksonian uprising, leading to the chucking out of the elites and a wiping out of Pakistan's peoples. Simply to survive and avoid another nuking.

With the great tragedy being that this did not have to happen, but the feminized elites sought victimhood and passivity as status over their proper duties as custodians of National Security.

You misread Islam
One: neither Jewish nor Christian fundamentalists practice terror. It was Muslims not Jews or Christians who committed: 9/11, the Beltway sniping, Madrid, London (both attacks), Bali, Beslan, the 3,000 and counting murders in Thailand, the beheading of Catholic School girls in Indonesia, the Seattle, LAX, San Francisco, UNC, and other jihadi attacks. That's just off the top of my head.

Moreover, neither Christianity nor Judaism permit polygamy. Young Muslim men generally can't find wives because wealthy older men hoard them all. The only sex they can get is paradise if they kill infidels. Why the 72 virgins? So no other men can have them! The natural reaction of men excluded from sex and marriage and families of their own.

Add to this the terrible threat that modernity poses to Islamic/Tribal identity: by allowing people to say, think, and do as they please. Even marry who they please and you get the idea. The terrorism is designed to destroy the modern world because the modern world is destroying the combined tribal/Religious identity that Muslims have.

No Muslim can admit doubt about religion (Allah would not permit it) nor can he leave Islam for another religion (because Allah forbids that too and punishes it by death). This is a recipe for eternal conflict till Islam either destroys Modernity, or Modernity destroys Islam. There is no middle ground. You either allow individual identity or freedom or impose a communal one. That's it.

Evidence suggests that is false
Pew polls say 25% of US Muslims (male) between 18-34 support Jihad. That's not tiny. Another 40% of UK Muslims (male and female) want to abolish the UK's laws and institute Sharia. Muslims wherever they abut non-Muslims have "bloody borders" and kill to enforce Islam. See: Thailand, Philippines, Europe, India, Israel. Muslims fundamentally cannot be at peace with the West because Islam demands Sharia Law from Allah, superior to any blasphemous man-made law. Western peoples demand freedom of conscience and laws made by man not Allah. The Fort Dix Six and the JFK plotters suggest even in the US Muslims will wage jihad against us Non-Muslims. These are the facts.

THis is typical of feminized elitist thinking
That the US generates violence because it is not morally pure and submissive. Of course no country ever has been morally pure or submissive. The US has been attacked and will be attacked because it is seen as weak, ineffective, cowardly effeminate, and dominated by elites who pull back: Mogadishu, Vietnam, Beirut, Khobar Towers, the Cole, 1993 WTC attack, etc. from inflicting serious pain on people who attack it.

You can believe in the fundamental goodness and mercy of bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahari and Ahmadinejad if the US simply adopts enough of a submissive, feminized posture. Or you can argue over the best way to be strong enough to deter attack.

Most people would prefer to be Arnold Schwarzenneger in High School versus say, Urkel.

That being Urkel is seriously proposed points to the total intellectual bankruptcy of our elites.

If YOU don't want to support your assertions, why should I?
I will just assume it is not true and assume everything else you say is not true either.

I did - and gave you the place to look it up....
If you want to assume that what I've said is incorrect, then so be it. I'm not interested in being your tutor. But, since I believe in free markets, I'm willing to accept a fee to educate you on American foreign policy.

OK, your a liar.
until proven other wise.

ok. i'm a liar.
wow, you're the best. thanks for pointing that out to me. Hopefully, I'll be able to turn a new leaf someday. I doubt it....I'm sure I'll keep talking about 700+ Military Bases in 120+ nations - as listed by the federal government in their annual "Base Structure Report"

In fact, I'm probably even lying about that report. It doesn't exist.

Don't worry. None of this is real. You can go back to sleep - your government is protecting you.

I counted 40 countries.

you're wrong. count again.
According to the 2003 report, the Pentagon currently owns or rents 702 overseas bases...yes, 702...in over 120 countries...and has another 6000 in the US and territories.

But, remember, I'm a liar. Don't believe me. It's all lies. Really, go back to sleep. it's all ok. Big government is protecting you.

Check the 2006 report.

No Subject
lets see, timothy mcveigh ring a bell? how about the mormons? and if you doubt jesus as your savior you have no hope of going to heaven.

yeah, sounds *so* different

You’re grasping for straws
“wiskey” is right, damn right!

When you have to go back 10 years and dig-up McVeigh, you know you have no argument. Everyday Muslims kill in the name of their religion [1] and because of their religion. The founder of the religion, Mohammad, was a vicious thug who slaughtered, plundered, conquered and oppressed. That’s what Islam has been throughout its history until subdued by colonial powers 200 years ago.

The problem is that Islam is back. Muslims are returning to the historic practice of their religion. Islam is an imperialist warrior ideology that aspires to world conquest. It’s a fascist ideology. Why appologize for fascism?

1 http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks

No Subject
and so was moses (warrior/killer, same goes for david, shall i go on?)

you folks dont seem to understand the parallel that has to be made - you're talking about interpretting a book thats already ancient, just like the old testament. just because some fanatics interpret it one way and act on that interpretation DOESNT MAKE THE WHOLE RELGION EVIL

you dont get satire much eh? there are christian terrorists, there are muslim terrorist, there are atheistic terrorists (unabomber comes to mind)

they're all fanatics that twist whatever principles they can to suite their needs. just because it shows up in the form of muslims flying into the WTC doesnt mean Islam = bad

btw
how long ago was 9/11? but its a big deal that I've got to go back 10+yrs for mcveigh?

intellectual honesty?

Follow the Leader
How many people did Jesus kill?

How many people did Mohammed kill?

ok
how many people has Bush killed? and for what? a safe and secure middle east that no longer poses a threat to the US?
follow the leader, please

Won't answer the question?

Don't bother
Don't bother trying to engage this kid - it's equivalent to trying to argue with a vending machine after it takes your dollar but refuses to give you your Snickers.

There's nobody home.

I mean, he actually said that the Jews 'threw the Palestinians off their land' because they were the 'chosen ones'. (And he was talking about the Old Testament, not 1948. Or maybe he can't tell the difference.).

While brain-dead responses such as the ones he gives render him utterly useless in a debate, it does still make me weep for the future.

When did it become acceptable for people to stop thinking? Ugh, it's depressing.

LOL. Great analogy.

You better re-check and count
The U.S. Military has something under 80 active military bases in something over 40 country. The rest are unmanned sites or multiple use sites. There are much fewer than 6,000 locations in the U.S. as well. This includes all commands, whether they are all located in one place, and it also includes many unmaned radar sites and other unmanned locations.

Example: Germany has over 280 listed locations, but about 20 actual manned "bases". We have unmanned "locations" in Columbia and Canada as well.

In the U.S. 5,804 of the 6,000 are small and unmanned or manned by fewer than 100 personnel. Many are combined locations with multiple commands at one site as well. the list also includes NG bases, armories, NG armories, every single missile silo, radar dish, sonar site, etc.
That leaves 196 actual manned, true, military bases in the U.S.

Numbers don't lie, but statistics never tell the truth.

No Subject
so the jews didnt displace the palestinians (when is irrelevant, that its happenned twice isn't)? news to me...
and i'm the one deying reality, read some history boys

No Subject
there's no need to answer the question for the lack of knowledge the question itself brings to bare - we aren't talking about one person, we're talking about societies. christianity has led to deaths and terrorism, so has islam, that you would like to deny that reveals that you have no interest in TRUE debate, only confirming what you already accept

No Subject
but i guess the way i pointed that out, with my own obsurd question about bush, was totally lost on you....

NO
We are discussing the basic doctrine of two religions as exemplified by the leaders.

Those who attempt to follow Jesus try to follow His doctrine.

Those who attempt to follow Mohammend (who acknowledges Jesus as a prophet) try to follow his doctrine.

Jesus follows a doctrine of non-violence. Those who try to follow Jesus will try to restrain their violent natures.

If Mohammed's doctrine accepts violence, those who try to follow Mohammend have NO incentive to restrain their violence.

Apparently
Apparently the rest of us can follow the conversation … all except one person (who seldom has a subject line). It’s kind of you to help the mentally challenged. I’ve given up.

You might go see someone and get something done about your castration anxiety
Dickwagging is not a substitute for thought or diplomacy or anything else. We dickwagged into Iraq and it's costs us a half billion and counting and the lives of thousands of good men and women, and left us more vulnerable. More dickwagging is going to make thiing worse. Dickwagging is not toughness, it's just broadcasting insecurity and stupidity. For a person, that's just tough on the person. For a country,it's a disaster.

Except when you enemy respects big di*ks.
There was a story during WWII the US air dropped standard sized condoms labeled 'extra small' over Japanese forces.

Arabs and Persians respect power. If we want them to listen, we have to get their attention.

Pedators attack the weakest prey.

And we've really got them respecting us in Iraq, don't we?
Everyone respects power. The problem is, you have to know how to use it, instead of just strutting around shouting "I'm bad! I'm bad!"

>Pedators attack the weakest prey
And that's why you have to be strong and smart instead of just talking about how strong you are, which labelsl you weak and dumb.

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